Weekend Preview 05/05/17

Highlights 

English Premier League
Arsenal vs. Manchester United (Sunday 4pm)
Sky Sports 1
Manchester United’s narrow win in Spain means that their attention remains firmly fixed on the Europa League, as they are now just 90 minutes away from the final. Mourinho has already said he will rest a number of players for this weekend’s trip to the Emirates, which means that Arsenal are positioned as relatively slight favourites but are expected to be more fancied by the time kick-off comes. Their team news is much more set, with Mustafi expected to return and Xhaka now joining Cazorla and Perez on the sidelines.

There is no doubt that the need for points is much greater for the hosts and that United can come with a stonewalling plan that looks to eek out a solitary point at worst. With this in mind we will most certainly take a look at the unders, which we also think will move towards 2.25 as Sunday afternoon approaches. It’s undoubtedly a risk taking any sort of position on this one before seeing the finalised team news, though, as you never really know with Mourinho. We would not be at all surprised to see a couple of Old Trafford’s more promising starlets being involved, which will cause market volatility.

Suggestion: Under 2.75 @ 1.80

English Championship
Brentford vs. Blackburn Rovers (Sunday 12pm)
Sky Sports Mix
Sky have chosen to televise the battle against relegation in the Championship, rather than the fight for the title, a decision that is totally justified when you look at the size of three teams still in big danger. Blackburn Rovers are currently occupying the last relegation slot and have a very difficult trip to Brentford, who are a very tough nut to crack at home. Indeed, they are third in the form table over the last eight games, which is no mean feat for a side that have had little to play for compared to those teams around them in that list. We can see why this is DNB and Blackburn have put up a great fight, but Brentford are professional enough to avoid defeat.

Suggestion: Brentford DNB @ 1.90

English Championship
Nottingham Forest vs. Ipswich Town (Sunday 12pm)
Sky Sports 3
Forest are the biggest name in the battle and are currently only outside of the drop zone due to their superior goal difference of one, though they have also scored more goals than Blackburn too. They are in the most awkward position psychologically of all the teams, because they are chasing AND being chased, while knowing that even a win may not be enough if Blackburn are able to produce a miracle result. The pressure is huge, but opposition could not be much better than an Ipswich side who have been garbage for much of the season and are in autopilot. The hosts should take advantage and win, but it’s going to be nail biting stuff.

Suggestion: Nottingham Forest -0.75 @ 1.80 

English Championship
Bristol City vs. Birmingham City (Sunday 12pm)
No TV
Our suggestions for the last two games mean that we think Birmingham will be safe regardless of the outcome here. They are already in the best position with a two-point gap over the other two, but crucially have worse goal difference than both. This means that IF both Forest and Rovers win then they have to match that result, as a draw won’t be good enough for them. It’s hard to say how much Birmingham have improved under Redknapp in two games, one a derby and one where the opposition played a shadow side, but a trip to in-form Bristol is not exactly an ideal way to round things off. Rotation from the hosts is a risk, but Johnson would be brave to do it.

Suggestion: Bristol City DNB @ 1.97

German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim (Saturday 2.30pm)
Bet365
Not many people would have expected Hoffenheim to be ahead of Dortmund in the table with just three games left to go, but that’s the situation they find themselves in. This is a crunch game because finishing third means no Champions League Qualifiers to worry about, so Dortmund will be going all out to win and this should give Hoffenheim’s dangerous attack some spaces to work with. The goal line is pitched aggressively, which in the circumstances makes sense, but we find more comfort in the handicap. Hoffenheim are full strength squad-wise and don’t deserve to be so widely priced.

Suggestion: Hoffenheim +1.25 @ 1.88

French Ligue 1
Olympique Marseille vs. Nice (Sunday 8pm)
BT Sport 1

Marseille have been oscillating between commanding wins and frustrating draws for a while, but the market seems to be favouring the former here with them half-goal favourites against a Nice side who just made short work of PSG last time out. Nice are used to playing without Cyprien and Plea now, but their absences probably explain things in terms of the price. Marseille are full strength and will attack, but Nice can be awkward opposition.

Suggestion: Nice +0.5 @ 2.00 and Over 2.75 @ 1.93

Ones to Follow

English Premier League
Hull City vs. Sunderland (Saturday 3pm)
No TV
Sunderland are officially down and so should at least be able to play with more freedom now the pressure is off, but Hull have serious momentum at home and will be looking at this game as being a sure thing. The market also sees it that way, which is fair.

Suggestion: Hull -1 @ 1.80

English Premier League
Swansea City vs. Everton (Saturday 5.30pm)
BT Sport 1
Swansea are in the unfortunate position of having to play after Hull, which is a definite disadvantage in their head-to-head relegation battle. They also appear to have a much tougher game to play and the market can barely split the teams, despite Everton apparently having little left to play for.

Suggestion: Over 2.5 @ 1.95

English Premier League
West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Friday 8pm)
Sky Sports 1
The hosts will revel in the chance to derail Tottenham’s title challenge, but their only way to do that is to play even more cautiously than they have done of late. Although four of their last ten combined games have seen over three goals, this could be a slow burner.

Suggestion: Under 3 @ 1.91

English Premier League
Chelsea vs. Middlesbrough (Monday 8pm)
Sky Sports 1
Chelsea have been over the money line total in seven of their last ten games, while Middlesbrough are now in a position where they have to open up at some stage. Their record perfectly mirrors Hull and Swansea’s in the last four and they have to start going for wins.

Suggestion: Over 3 @ 1.86

Spanish Primera Division
Barcelona vs. Villarreal (Saturday 5.30pm)
Sky Sports 5
Iniesta is back so Barcelona are at full strength, but this looks set to be their toughest game left. They need to win all three to have a chance of taking the title, but a three goal difference looks a stretch with the visitors also likely to be full strength.

Suggestion: Villarreal +2.5 @ 1.80 

Spanish Primera Division
Granada vs. Real Madrid (Saturday 7.45pm)
Sky Sports 5
Adams has unsurprisingly failed to halt Granada’s slide and they are now officially relegated, which makes this look like a plum tie for Real between their Champions League commitments. Wholesale changes are expected from Zidane, which throws too much uncertainty into the mix, but we still think they’ll win big.

Suggestion: N/A

*Odds accurate at time of writing

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